can you tell and what can you learn?
Stehn, USFWS Whooping Crane Coordinator
band on the right leg tells me this
is "Al," the male of the pair known as Al and Diane.
Years ago he was originally
banded as Yellow-Red (high silver).
red on the crane's head is red
skin that can be
expanded and engorged with
when the crane wants to show off its crown and
look fiercer. It is covered with black bristles, a
modified feather that often covers much of the red. (This photo shows
both the red skin and the black bristles.)
can see a brief hint of the black primary wing feathers next
to the upper part
of the right leg.
plumage overall is ruffled, but does not look ruffled by any
is present. This bird's plumage needs a good grooming.
(Whooping cranes usually appear "neater" than this.)